How Do You Optimize Your Website For Search Engines In 2018?

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The year 2018 is already there, along with those New Year thoughts that are almost always in your head, among them, munch on Google’s rankings. If you are a SEO enthusiast, it is likely that one of the requests at the turn of the year, along with those already recurring “to have more prosperity, peace, love and health,” is to reach the front page all year long .

This is a great request, without a doubt, but how to achieve this result? Surely he will not fall from the sky: you must do your part .

For this, you need to resort to good SEO techniques, those that really bring good results and can cause you to leave all your competitors behind (or better, down).

So, for starters, you have no better suggestion: get started right now. Here are the tips that Kadu Carvalho has prepared for you:

1- Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Google has announced that it will soon adopt mobile-first indexing , meaning that it will use the mobile version of its site as the basis of its search results, not the desktop.

It is not yet known exactly when it will start to work effectively, but as the old saying goes, caution and chicken soup do not hurt anyone. So get started today!

Make sure your site is seamless on the mobile with no limitations or crashes. All content should be easily accessible and preferably without those “read more” buttons, since their presence may make it difficult to scan the Google crawler.

As many people who are well ranked today will take time to adapt your site, this is a good chance to gain valuable positions in Google’s search results. This subject comes from 2014:

2- Invest in videos (preferably on YouTube)

You should have seen more videos during this year than you did last year, right? Well, this is also a worldwide trend: video traffic keeps growing .

This is not a prediction not: Google itself announced this in the 2017 Video Viewers Search , which among several insights, showed that online video consumption in 2017 was 15.4 hours per week. That is quite a thing.

Also not to be missed, since the number of platforms available today is very large: YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram and Facebook, just to name a few.

If you want to choose one to start improving your SEO, then stick with YouTube, for one obvious reason: it’s Google!

So in a Google search result, if you have an interesting video on the subject, the search engine can put you on the first page. Just showing a snippet with a thumbnail of the video already greatly increases the user’s interest.

If you’re still not convinced, another important point: more than half of the searches on Google today count on at least 1 video on the first page. Try it for yourself: In most searches, you’ll receive video recommendations.

You may even be a little embarrassed to shoot videos, which is normal, but a good point for you is that a lot of people are like that too. So this is one more gap for you to climb the search results.

Make an effort to overcome this fear. Of course, the results will pay off a lot, and whoever watches the video can go to your site and then become a lead, a customer and a brand advocate. Is there anything better?

3- Answer questions from your audience

Whoever opens Google is hardly looking for something other than the answer to a request, be it a recipe for chicken breast with cottage cheese, which doctor to look for when you have a headache or which professionals are referencing in the global SEO.

So, never forget that anyone looking for Google wants to know something, and if you offer the best answer, people will access your page! Consequently, more traffic, less bounce rate, more ranking positions.

The answer to your audience’s questions should be made in a well-explained way, so no one needs to go into another page and supplement the explanation.

This is a not-so-simple path, but if you strive to give the best possible response, users will visit your site and Google will reward you for it, with the rise of multiple positions in search results.

To think of the best way to do this, put yourself in the place of the audience: did you answer all the questions? Did you clarify all the issues? If the answer is yes, then you can climb a lot in the SERP.

4- Content is still king, but the keyword is queen

SEOs around the world have heard and even repeated this phrase: “content is king”. And this is true, after all, without content it is not possible to index a page or give what the user is looking for.

However, every king needs a queen, and the queen of content is the key word. After all, it’s no use creating content just by creating, without choosing a killer term to work on the page.

There are several tools that can be used for keyword research such as SEMrush and  Moz Keyword Explorer , just to name a few.

However, you can also count on a free alternative that does not have as many features but can break a bough for those who are still at the beginning of this SEO life: Google AdWords Keyword Planner !

Everyone has a Google account (and if they do not, they must have). This is the requirement to start using the AdWords planner, which can also give you good insights, including which terms have the most search flow.

Still, for those who want to have deeper and correlated data, the best choice is at the discretion of the software even paid. Surely, the investment will be worth it.

5- Long contents, short paragraphs

Long content is great for gathering all the information that visitors want to see, just like we saw in item 3, but the way they are organized weighs a lot. You should always prefer to make short paragraphs, and this is not just a personal taste: it is a science, already proven and that brings effective results.

Think of two pages with the same content, but in one the paragraphs are huge with 10 lines or more, while the other has paragraphs of 3 lines. Which one is easier to read? Yes, the second.

In this, also enters another concept, that is the one of blank space , also in English, that is exactly what the name suggests: white space. Empty spaces are pleasing to the brain because information can be read more easily without giving the impression of tiredness or laziness of having to read a paragraph that looks like an article from the Penal Code.

Invest in these techniques: long content, short paragraphs. You will please yourself when you hit the eye on the result, and everyone who access your page as well. In a domino effect, less rejection, more ranking positions.

6- Pictures are great content

Remember that story that content is king? So, it really is true, but what is content for you?

Many people associate content only with texts, but that’s not how it works, even more today, with so many social networks that value visual content (Pinterest and Instagram are the best examples).

This, however, can also be used on your site. Who does not like to see an image with very interesting content, such as infographics or even smaller but interesting images that add value?

In addition to making reading more fluid and less tiring, interesting images can generate good backlinks as long as they help solve the doubts or needs of others. And, a good backlink is never too much, is it?

So get this idea out of what content is just text. The advances in content consumption prove that this is no longer an absolute truth, and anyone who adapts before will reap better results sooner.

7- Sai “”, enter “responsive”

Previously, it was common to see many sites with versions developed exclusively for the mobile, with that famous “m.” Before the address of the page.

Nowadays, this is not a recommendable technique: Google itself has already said that . And, between us, if the Big G said, who are we to answer?

Ideally, your site be responsive, that the same content seen on the desktop also appear on the mobile, but on the same page . So you focus all your efforts on the same page, which is much more practical.

Oh, do you remember mobile-first indexing , which we talked about earlier? The mobile version of your site will be the one with the most weight for Google, so do whatever it takes to make the navigation smooth and everything works the way it should.

Responsiveness is a trend that has already begun to be implemented, but there are always those people who only run after injury when there is no way. Do not expect to get to that point: start now.

8- Focus: gain links naturally

Since the beginnings of Google, having links (good quality) that point to your site is very good. And if you think that’s changed, it’s rather wrong. The links are indications that this is good, both internal and external links. But here is an observation that can change the way you look at it.

Imagine that your sister Bruna makes wonderful cakes, of those that no one can eat just one piece. From then on, you, your father and your mother begin to say that Bruna’s cakes are delicious.

So, come to Julia, from another family and asks you if Bruna’s cakes are good, you say yes and even your whole family agrees. Then the person retorts: ” But what about outsiders, what do they say? “.

You may not have understood, but calmly, let’s explain: it is as if the indications of your family were the internal links, the indications of other people were the external links and Julia was Google.

It’s still a bit confusing, but come on: Google values ​​internal links, because you show within your domain that a certain page is good, but an unbiased opinion of Julia, who is outside, has a higher value in this case .

So when another site points to yours, it recognizes that that content is good for real, that’s great. The more backlinks of important sites you get, the more Google will know that the page is good and consequently position it there at the top of the searches.

So always strive to create unique content, whether with texts, videos, infographics or whatever you have at your disposal. The result will be excellent, you can trust.

9- Focus on UX (User Experience)

Google has always been very smart, of that nobody doubts. But as time went on, it became more humanized, that is, not thinking just like a computer algorithm.

That’s why UX , or user experience, is more important than ever today. After all, if the user interacts well with your site then it is a good quality website and deserves better positions.

You may have wondered if the user experience is a ranking factor. The answer? Yes, but not just directly.

If someone enters your site and can not navigate right, then that person will leave the site without having stayed there for a long time. So two factors already known for SEO are involved: low browsing time and bounce rate.

These two factors can, in fact, cause your site to be punished and fall into search results. In addition, with the increasing importance that responsiveness presents these days, care should be even greater.

So you should always think that your website should be fully accessible with buttons in a comfortable size for mobile and desktop with easy navigation and low loading time.

Doing all of this will do some work, but you will not regret it, and Google will proudly and merrily give you a better position on your results pages, thanks to User Experience , or UX , for the more intimate.

10- Pleasure, RankBrain

Have you heard of RankBrain ? If not, you should. RankBrain is a feature that has been implemented in Google’s algorithm, whose function is really like that of a brain for ranking: to understand what is the best result of a search.

Well, that’s what Google does for quite some time, we know. But now this assessment is even more complex and accurate, since the goal is to really understand, as if it were a human, not just a machine.

The two most important factors for RankBrain are browsing time and CTR (Click Through Rate) , that is, the ratio of the number of times a site appeared in search results to how many times the page was clicked.

These factors work together so that the search engine shows exactly what the user wants to find. But then, you ask yourself: how can RankBrain influence SEO?

It is a simple correlation: if 10 results were shown, the user chose the 3rd, stayed more than 3 minutes on that page and left, then the algorithm understands that the page is good for that search.

In contrast, another user accessed the 2nd result, but the content was very poor. Then, he left the page quickly and went to the 3rd, where he found everything he wanted.

Then, RankBrain will learn that the 2nd result is not good (and consequently will punish it in its position) and the 3rd is very good (and deserves to rise in the positions).

The longer users spend on your page, the better. Thus, it will gain positions, and more people will click on it and sail for a long time. This becomes a virtuous cycle.

Basically, RankBrain took two factors already known to SEO and made them even more important. So, keep your eyes open on this and seek to delight all who enter the pages of your site!

11- Know the 3 most important ranking factors for Google

You may have heard that there are more or less 200 ranking factors that are taken into consideration for the SEO of a page. Ever thought how amazing it would be to meet the Top 3?

Luckily, today, we know which are the 3 most important factors!

The factors that occupy the first two positions regarding the relevance that Google gives to a page are the content and the links . Both are related, since good content generates links, and links point to good content.

Already the third most important factor is RankBrain, which we saw above and depends directly on the time of navigation and also of the CTR .

The most important factors of Google, which were once secret, are now no more. With that in hand, you already have enough information to know what to focus on in SEO.

However, however much such information is available, few actually put it into practice. Be one of those few and make your site constantly up the rankings.

12- Pleasure, LSI

One more presentation: do you already know LSI? If not then you should too.

The acronym LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing , which in Portuguese is something like “Latent Semantic Indexing”. After all, what does that mean?

Semantics deals with the relationship between meanings, which may help to understand the concept. Have you managed to capture how this can help catapult your website with SEO?

When you create content, you select a main keyword and eventually complementary keywords, right? So with the LSI technique, you will use terms similar to those that will be worked on.

For example, if you are going to talk about the Brazilian football team, you can also talk about uniform, ball, trophies, captain, achievements, goalkeepers, goalkeepers, among a myriad of other related topics.

In addition to making your content more interesting, Google will understand that your page actually addresses that subject, as it also addresses other themes that are part of the same universe .

The LSI Graph is an excellent tool for this: simply type the term that you will work on your content and it searches other semantically related issues.

AdWords Keyword Planner can also help you: you just enter a term, click on “get ideas,” and see what other options appear. All this will make your text semantically stronger.

When you know what other terms are related to your content, use them during the construction of the text and have a better chance of occupying the valuable first positions in the ranking!

13- Position # 1? Now the focus is the position # 0 (Featured Snippet)

It was always like this: everyone was fighting to get to Google’s top position. This was the dream of every professional or SEO lover, and it may have been yours for many years.

But today, # 1 is no longer the consumer dream. Today, everyone wants to get in the # 0 result.

You may have never heard of it, but it is very likely that you have already witnessed it. The # 0 result, also called featured snippet or featured snippet , is the one that appears highlighted when you search for something .

This result will make the content of your page seen by even more people, since they will not even have to open the link to access it. And this is great for the SEO of your site, in addition to generating a phenomenal branding.

Most of the content that appears in this prominent position are those that answer a question that was asked by the user, as we saw in item 3.

For example, if you type “how much does it cost to transfer a car,” Google will likely display a highlighted result with the answer to that question. And have you ever thought that great if your page is there?

To achieve this position, you can use a technique: put the question you want answered in the middle of your content, as well as the answer to it, succinctly and directly.

So, Google will realize that the question is also on your page, as well as the response, and will identify that this is a good option to meet the user’s need.

Therefore, do not aim at position # 1, but at # 0. It may take work, but as soon as you reach it, you will be so happy it will take a print of the page and save it for posterity.

14- Voice searches? Get ready

Have you ever stopped to think about voice searches? Maybe not, but probably already made one. And that’s where the point is.

Voice search grows with each passing day, as the rush is so great day by day that often lack time to type. And you too can benefit from it.

Take the test now: get your cell phone (or notebook, or computer with a microphone) and do a voice search on Google. You’ll find it works just as well as conventional research.

The big question is to make your page the answer to the user’s request. When doing such a search, Google is likely to read a response, and that may be yours.

But for this to work out, there is no magic: you must optimize for voice search , apply all SEO techniques, and make your page top of the search, preferably in the featured snippet , which is usually the which Google reads.

The process to achieve this requires a rather complex step-by-step as well as a lot of persistence but it will be difficult to avoid the tears of happiness rolling when you search for something by voice and hear your content being recited by Google.

15- Do not forget the usual techniques

The techniques mentioned above are relatively recent and can boost your site well. But, you should not abandon the old techniques!

Placing the keyword in the page title, URL, H1, meta-description and alt of the image is still very important. By doing so, you indicate that your content is relevant.

Not plagiarizing other content is also essential, and this is still on Google’s radar. So, do not forget originality, which is essential for quality content.

Use Search Console , index your pages, make structured data marking, and track your performance in Google Analytics . This will make you more likely to rank well and change what is needed to do so.

Share your content on social networks, parameterize the links so you can accurately account for hits, send emails to your contact base and nurture your leads.

All this still has its fair value, so do not let these more classic SEO techniques go back.